Thursday, October 30, 2014

Internet Companies, Monopolies and Oligopoly

We started monopolies today and are doing oligopolies when that is done.  So I will discuss this article with my kids and ask which our local Internet provider comes closest to (since I think it some areas it is a geographic monopoly whereas in others it is certainly an oligopoly.  That will bring up a nice discussion to inefficiency.  The article looks at inefficiencies due to lack of competition and why we are so far behind many other countries in terms of service. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Monopolies Explained

This little video does a great job of explaining why the demand and marginal revenue curves are downward sloping in a monopoly and how and where to mark the diagram for profit, revenue, marginal and average total cost.  It comes from mjmfoodie who has a lot of great macro and micro videos. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Perfect Competition

On Tuesday we are covering long run perfect competition which is not easy so I found this great Internet page which both explains the concept and explains it in written format with images.

While we are in it, this is the site in Great Britain that I found it on.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Found this site recently as a way to give assessments in a very entertaining and interactive way. Free to set up as a teacher. Simply choose the questions and possible answers. Students only need to open a browser on their phone or tablet, go to and put in Game pin to start.  After that, students click their answers on their phones and score more points if they answer sooner(up to 1,000).  After all answers are submitted, students get immediate feedback on correct answer, how many points they scored, what place they are in and how many points behind they top five.  Very engaging and fun. Your students will love Kahoot.

My Book is Getting Closer; Pre-Order Now

So I started my blogs in April of 2008 - which means I have been hawking free wares for quite a long time.  But no more!  My book manuscript should arrive in my in box in a few days and after I initial it, the next stop is the printer.  The publication date is the last week of January, but you and/or your school or district can pre-order it now.  

The title pretty much says it all.  I believe that technology is great since that is the world we now live in, but two terms I use in my book are "first and second order" uses of technology.  First order is just digitizing everything you normally do on paper while "second order" is using technology to do learning with your students (such as individualizing) that you could not do without it.  Not only do I give you the research, but I give you the step by step instructions for how to do this.

Over the next few months, I will be giving you more details on the book so please keep reading if you aren't yet sure if you want to purchase it yet.   If you go here, there is both a very detailed chapter outline as well as the early reviews and a way to order the book.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

We The Economy (20) short videos on Economics

Found these great short videos on Economics from Morgan Spurlock. is attempting educate average citizens about some economic realities through these short videos which can be used in class to start a discussion, etc. . .

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Twitter Warm-up for Your Classes

Today my colleague, Doug Zywiol asked his US history classes to Tweet him the biggest hurdle facing George Washington when he started his presidential term.  If you go to @dougzywiol you can see the student responses.  To have your students do it, they simply need to add your Twitter handle to a text and then you can project the responses on the board or simply have your students use their smartphones to look at and discuss the answers.  Alternatively you could make a hashtag (just put the "#" symbol along side any class name you might invent (such as @Zywiolclass) and then have your students add this to their text.  Then go to the newly made site to see all of the Tweets.

By the way Zywiol's government students were doing their government service hours and met Barbara Comstock (see image above) who is likely to be a new member of Congress come January and of course they Tweeted about it so Zywiol's other students could see it.

Obviously no matter the subject you teach, you can use Twitter to start your warm-up.  If you are like us and have slow laptops, it can be done while the laptops are logging in. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Perfect Competition (Almost) Examples

On Wednesday we are starting perfect competition.  As always I like to give my students examples in the real world.  Of course, there is no true example of it, but here are a few close approximations.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Compound Interest, Stock Market & Credit Card Simulator

Here is a cool site that allows your students to see how a savings account compares to the stock market.  It also has a credit card simulator. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ebola and a Possible Shift in Demand

You probably teach MERIT to your students for shifts in demand as opposed TRICE for supply). Here is an article on whether or not people are going to stop flying due to the "Ebola nurse" flying to Cleveland from Houston.
As with the other articles I have posted today, I plan on showing one or two of them to my students tomorrow and asking what might happen to demand and if plane use shifts, then how would we know if something is a substitute?

Remind Gets Even Easier

Remind (which used to be Remind101) is getting even easier.  Stating in November all your students and parents will have to do is to text "81010" and your unique class code (which you make) and they will be signed up.  I have been using the site for the past three years and their CEO even gave my upcoming January release book (Deeper Learning Through Technology) a nice endorsement.   I can't say enough for how it has improved my students' memory to get their nightly text reminders in finishing any lingering work they may have for me.  

Drought and the Free Market

Thanks to Phil Cox on the AP Economics Teachers site on Facebook for this one.  Here is an article that discusses the fact that alfalfa growers in the West get to use water beyond what is necessary and if the free market were instituted for water use, we would see far less drought conditions among our western states.  

Elasticity and College Textbooks

Thanks to Rich Hoppock for this one.   Planet Money has a lot of great stories that can put teaching economics squarely in the real world.  Here is a story on how students are buying far fewer new textbooks in college,  It would be a great exercise to address with your students as to the in-elasticity of new textbooks and the growing elasticity of other ways to get books.  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Quizlet Review for AP Microeconomics

After the coming week my students will be half way through AP microeconomics and so I am giving them this set of review cards from my favorite review guide, 5 Steps to a 5.  While we haven't hit the last fifteen vocabulary words, the rest will be a super review for the kids.  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Very Short and Clear Explanation of ATC, AVC, AFC and MC

Mr. Clifford has a plethora of short super explanations to help you teach economics.  I particularly like the one above on marginal cost, average total cost, average fixed costs and average variable costs as it is the concept my students are learning about tonight via a flipped video and tomorrow we will review and over which we will complete our problem set.

Price Controls and Freakonomics

If you want to make economics relevant to your students one site to see if Freakonomics.  Above is a podcast from the site which discusses "fitness apartheid" in New York City.   It looks at rent control, rear doors for people paying less and even asks if having first class airport seats is discriminatory.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Federal Reserve's Lesson Plans

The Federal Reserve of St. Louis has a number of lesson plans completely written up and ready to go including podcasts that explain key concepts as well as are written out.  You can find them here

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Personal Finance Simulator Units for Your Students

Two of the courses I teach are AP Micro/Macro and Economics and Personal Finance.  The latter is online and one of the tools we use is EverFi to make sure the students are both learning and practicing personal finance.  It is a nice tool that is free and gives the teacher student scores as you go through the unit.  Scores are on a 100% basis so it is easily transferable into a grade.  Above is an overview, here are videos on how to set it up and use it.